Blog

Mental Health Champions

It’s okay to ask for help. During these times you have to remember to be kind to yourself and others. If any students would like to speak to someone within the college regarding mental health, we have Mental Health champions in each of our campuses there to help and support you. 

Some of you may not know who your Mental Health Champions (MHC) are, we would like to introduce you to them now so you can put a face to the name.

London

Chris Gascoigne is the Course Leader in Film, Video and Photography at the London campus and has taken on the role of the MHC.

“I took this role because I am a natural empath who has worked with people in distress for many years, such as a Samaritan volunteer. Also I have been meditating and practicing yoga for over two decades so I have a fairly zen vibe.”

Manchester 

Lucy Oliver is a Pastoral Lead and Student MHC at Manchester. 

“I have been passionate about emotional wellbeing and supporting mental health needs, working in the field for more than 20 years so I was happy to take on the much-needed role at ACC. Through my work at the college, I have been able to lead on a few initiatives to promote emotional wellbeing. I have created a Google Hangout emoji wellbeing tracker that has been successful in reaching out to the students.  I have created a wellbeing folder on Moodle for students to easily access, whether in college or working from home. I have created a list of support agencies that is now on the ACC website. I have presented a live stream on ‘Mental Health and Creativity’ as part of ACC Virtual Festival. I have implemented the Warwick-Edinburgh Wellbeing tracker in Manchester which is being rolled out across the other campuses and most recently, I ran a staff session on Mental Health, and the potential impacts the COVID pandemic could have.”

Bristol 

Nick Lovelace is a Learning Support Manager at our Bristol campus and Bristol’s Mhc. 

“I have always been passionate about mental health and wellbeing. I have taken on a role working within mental health and wellbeing as a counsellor outside Access Creative College. I very much thrive on incorporating this skill set and knowledge within my role here at the College. I blog about mental health, including suicide prevention regularly. In my spare time I read about mental health and wellbeing.”

Birmingham

Elaine Yates is a Youth Skills Support Worker, MHC, and LGBT Aly.

“I wanted to become a MHC in order to be a point of contact for learners who are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress, helping the person get appropriate help, and also provide early intervention for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.”

Norwich 

Emily English is the MHC for students in the Norwich campus as well as doing her job role as an Administrator.

“I took on the role of MHC as I have always been interested in mental health wellbeing, and have always wanted to help others. I’ve been told many times that I’m a good listener, and something like this would suit my strengths, so I went for it. The rewards are another reason why I wanted to do this. It’s extremely fulfilling to help others, just by being a friendly face and good ear. I have just been made a Safeguarding Lead in the centre, as well as just starting on a journey into teaching – I lead some of the ACC Live sessions in our centre. This has allowed my ACC career to open up even more. More names to remember, but it’s really great to be able to know so many different people.”

Lincoln 

Alexandra Rogerson is a Learning Support Worker and has been since October 2019. 

“ I took on this role as I am passionate to ensure students receive the best care and guidance, develop safe coping strategies & provide robust support in a crisis. I feel it is important that students have these essential life-skills to ensure they engage with their studies safe in the knowledge they are valued, and so that they effectively  transition into either work or Higher Education regardless of their mental health journey and ongoing needs. I have returned to university to study Childhood & Youth Work – Mental Health and Wellbeing are the back-bone of this fundamental work.”

York 

Rachael McEwan is our Learning Services Manager in York and has taken on the role of MHC within that campus. 

“My role as LSM is all about meeting the needs of our learners and learner welfare, whether it is offering additional learning support, Pastoral, Safeguarding, I feel that I am best placed along with the Centre Manager to provide this service. My previous roles and experiences in the armed forces and policing/ security sector has helped champion this role.”